“How do you feel about white counters?” Tim asks.
Although I didn’t share this with my husband, I have no feelings about white counters. No opinion about counters in general. Feelings are reserved for people, foods, Krombacher dark beer, and a pink morning sky minutes before the sun rises. Wait, there is more. I also have emotions about good books that take my mind away from unworthy thoughts, and for feeling strong and healthy. Yes, there seem to be quite a few things I have feelings about. But not about counters in any color.
Tim was making interior selections for a condo we were building. Concisely, “we” were not building anything. We paid Pulte who pays builders and contractors to construct condominiums. Millennials have stretched this “we” business. “We are pregnant.” Actually, NO, she is, he is not. He is expecting a child carried by a contractor of his choosing, wife, girlfriend, or some other female. He can’t even be sure it’s his baby until it’s born and subjected to a blood test. Try as I may, I don’t recall any woman telling me that she and her husband are pregnant with their second child. After the labor of the first, women put this silly notion to rest.
Our youngest daughter, Gréta, flips houses. She gives her dad thumbs up for white counters. After a google image search, “kitchen, white counters,” I’m on board. “Let’s do white counters.” The more we talk about it, the more enthused we are, and in the end, we’ve decided white is the way to go.
Today is the fourth day residing in the condo with white counters. When they say white, they mean it. The previous home’s kitchen counters were in multiple colors of brown, tan, and gray; the colors of whole wheat and rye. Eating toast with butter and cheese, crumbs blended nicely into the countertop, while bits of cheese less so. Tim often comments that my cheese is not real cheese. “Tim, to me it’s real cheese,” I say again and again and again. At the grocery store, instead of asking the girl for the vegan cheese, I asked her the whereabouts of the “pretend, not real cheese.” It’s the Stockholm syndrome, identifying with another person’s view even though at the beginning you resisted. Remember Patty Hearst and to some degree Elizabeth Smart? Or if you read Educated, the bonding between Tara and her brother, Shawn. Victim and captor.
In my condo life, bread crumbs show up 24/7 on the white counters and the tile floor. Did I mention that our ceramic tiles are a light beige? The toaster sits on a counter below low-hanging cupboards. To prevent constant heat on the cabinets, I pull it out before toasting bread. Then in a state of unawareness, I begin scattering crumbs far and wide. Do canaries make for good pets? They like breadcrumbs, right? The Vitamix makes black stripes when moved. Water rings from cups and glasses don’t dry to invisible. No, they dry to very visible and have a haunting quality, you can’t keep your eyes off of the marks. If only I could say or think, I’ll buff it clean after I throw in a load of laundry. No way. Those wet marks demand immediate attention.
“Can I put away the Bar Keepers cleansers?” Tim wants to know. He’s tired of looking at it sitting at attention by the sink. Instead of answering, I ask him to remind me to get more kitchen rags when we go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. He puts the Bar Keepers away, and I spy black streaks on the counter edges.
Pollyanna always identified a silver lining in every adversity. I’ve already cut back on snacks. With my new wiping the counter time demands, there is less time for snacking. Toasted bagel with peanut butter takes five minutes to eat. Another four to clean up. Rinse the plate. Scrub peanut butter off the knife to avoid, “Edith, the peanut butter doesn’t come off in the dishwasher.” Finally, a sweep over the light beige ceramic tiles.
We selected light beige for the carpet.